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New gal in NC - new to me 06 CRF230F with all the goodies

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Hey folks. I just came home yesterday with what I think is the best bike I've ever ridden (not saying much though between a CRF150F, DRZ400s, and KLX140L). I had the KLX and enjoyed it but quickly outgrew it, literally. I couldn't work on standing up while riding because I'm about 5'9" in boots and my weight, well I was too heavy for that bike's suspension and too tall for the bike's size.  

Lo and behold, I waited and watched CL like a hawk. Within days I noticed a 2006 CRF230F with 08 250R front end, BBR spring with the 150f linkage to raise the rear, Renthal bars and grips, airbox mod, rejetted, ASV clutch perch and brake lever, upgraded chain and sprockets, mechanically sound, recent carb cleaning, etc. Turns out the owner has a dirt bike school near me and uses all the Honda F models from 50 to 230 to teach anyone how to ride whether it's motocross or offroad. This was his personal bike customized for offroad. Although he's sponsored by Honda and other moto companies (I think) and only uses Hondas, he agreed to take my trade plus some cash and will probably sell the KLX140L to a student. He also threw in a brand new Dunlop MX51 tire and is mailing me service manual. I also get a free riding class or day riding on his tracks. 

I know there are many who argue conventional forks properly set up are absolutely fine. I had never ridden anything with USD forks or properly tuned conventional forks. When I kicked my leg over this 230 (it sits about 1.5 inches higher than stock, maybe more- I'm almost on tip toes) and took it for a ride I was amazed at the things I didn't feel because of the front forks! I need to adjust them for a little more plush ride. I was also amazed at how much more comfortable and confident I felt on a bike that is the proper size, even if the seat height is considerably higher. The ground clearance alone was such a welcome addition for me. 

Probably the best CL transaction I've ever had. When I got home and rode the bike again I noticed that it wants to idle/rev high when warm so I spent some time trying to adjust that. Contacted the seller and he gave me some tips to try. The choke lever is also a little finicky in that it freely moves with no resistance up or down--not sure if this is normal. I worked with the choke knob(?) to see if I can get idle right. If I'm riding at a moderate pace and slow to a stop and pull the clutch in, it wants to rev high sometimes as if the choke is on but it isn't. 

After I parked it I noticed after an hr or so there was a small oil leak which concerned me a little. So I contacted the owner and he said if any repairs are needed he will pay for them- ie if the cases are leaking. I was quite surprised by this! But I also understand that he does own a moto school and it was HIS personal bike so he is customer service oriented. For a novice/intermediate rider, to have the seller know so much about these bikes and be able to contact him with questions or anything I might find that's not normal is a godsend. 

 I'm still learning my way around the bike. Glad that the carb is so easy to access as I'd like to rejet and put a new header pipe on it. And time to get some better boots as my leg is a lot closer to the pipe than on any other bike. It could also use some new pegs and new shifter. Also trying to find out how it's geared even though for my uses I think the sprockets are fine. Sometimes shifting from 2nd to 3rd is a little difficult but if it needs new clutch plates I can deal with that. 

Although I was a little concerned about buying a 10 year old bike, it had all the upgrades already done for me and wasn't backyard bashed, and was maintained by a rider much better than myself. And for a woman who doesn't mind wrenching but isn't THAT good at dirt bike motors, I couldn't pass it up. It looks so nice sitting next to the [tiny] 72 z50!! 

Anyway, wow that was a long post! Looking forward to learning from this forum. Guess I need to post in the thumpettes too ? Here's to all you 150 and 230 riders. My first was a 150f and it was a great bike (dare I say better, roomier than the 140L). I think this 230 will be a keeper for a long time. 

IMG_20170325_115230.jpg

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Nice find!  I search CL regularly and would love to find another 230F with similar mods already done but no luck so far here in Eastern Tennessee.

I have a set of '06 250R forks I plan to install on my 230F but I'd like to make sure the valving is going to be good for trail riding.  Seems like correcting some of the harshness a modern twin chamber fork is known for is a difficult endeavor.  Lots of discussion about it but not sure I've seen where anybody has actually had success.

What kind of riding are you gonna be doing? 

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Thanks! Where in NC are you? I wonder if Bruce Triplett can /would help me set up bike w the 250r forks for my riding style and uses? I read that he works wonders on the stock forks, wasn't sure about USD ones. 

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1 hour ago, MetricMuscle said:

Nice find!  I search CL regularly and would love to find another 230F with similar mods already done but no luck so far here in Eastern Tennessee.

I have a set of '06 250R forks I plan to install on my 230F but I'd like to make sure the valving is going to be good for trail riding.  Seems like correcting some of the harshness a modern twin chamber fork is known for is a difficult endeavor.  Lots of discussion about it but not sure I've seen where anybody has actually had success.

What kind of riding are you gonna be doing? 

Hey there. So mostly I've been doing simple trails around and near my house. Soon I hope to have a new vehicle that I can add a hitch mount to so i can take advantage of all the amazing power line trails that criss cross my county. I'm still getting used to the bigger bike (seems a lot bigger than stock but worth it) and working on slow speed skills. For the most part it will be woods riding. The true tracks close to me are geared for motocross with the exception of Jibtopia(cable wakeboard park with easy atv and moto trails around the property). 

On a side note-- would either of you guys know why it would be difficult to shift from 2nd to 3rd? A few times I've been up shifting and ended up in neutral which is strange since neutral is between 1 and 2.

And the choke knob, right by the lever- is that the idle screw? Still trying to get that dialed in right. Odd that the choke lever moves freely and easily. 

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1 hour ago, MetricMuscle said:

Nice find!  I search CL regularly and would love to find another 230F with similar mods already done but no luck so far here in Eastern Tennessee.

I have a set of '06 250R forks I plan to install on my 230F but I'd like to make sure the valving is going to be good for trail riding.  Seems like correcting some of the harshness a modern twin chamber fork is known for is a difficult endeavor.  Lots of discussion about it but not sure I've seen where anybody has actually had success.

What kind of riding are you gonna be doing? 

Also-- the front forks may indeed feel harsh to others who know more and have ridden longer. But coming from 2 poorly suspended bikes, they feel like clouds to me. Going to mess with the clickers and see what happens. Hit a quite a large hole in a field and tensed up waiting for the jarring effect but the forks just absorbed it and thats when I knew what good suspension is and can be. On the KLX it likely would have caused me to lose control or go over the bars

I do wish I could adjust the rear suspension somehow - the KLX 140 believe it or not had pretty nice suspension settings in the rear. 

Before I agreed to go see the bike I asked the owner about the rear setup since I was worried about the geometry being messed up by taller and longer forks. He didn't list that the rear had been set up properly to account for the front end height w 150f linkage and BBR spring 

Only other bike I saw on CL close to this was a TTR230 w upgraded suspension and it sold very quickly before I had a chance to make an offer. I still think the Honda version is better overall so my wait was worth it, especially being able to contact the seller/school owner about any questions. 

 

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Here's a picture of the stock carb.  Check out the choke lever on your bike to see if there's anything missing.  Such as the metal tab and screw at the top end.  These hold the choke in position.  There's also a small black arm that sticks backwards and operates the actual choke plate shaft.  Look inside the carb to see if the choke plate is attached to the shaft and if it rotates as you operate the choke lever.

 

More info and pics here:

http://rickramsey.net/CRF230Fcarb.htm#carbinfo

:ride:

CarbInfo1.jpg

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Saw that one on CL.  Bruce typically works on the shocks removed from the bike. Usually the shift issue is between 1st and second. If your climbing a hill and downshift it goes to neutral rather than 1st. Easy, cheap fix. But between 2nd and 3rd.... not sure about that. Agree the Honda better than the TTR. As far as the front end, Higher front makes it stable,  steer harder. Lower makes it steer quicker but twitchy. But you have some good travel with that set up. Is the stock shock OEM? I'll bet it is upgraded as well. Which may have all the adjustments. Yes the idle screw/ knob is on the choke side. The choke butterfly is spring activated to close, under tension at all times. The lever pushed up for choke basically allows the spring to let it close under it's own spring tension. The blk choke lever having very small plastic detents that have three recess. It should not be a problem moving freely. Especially since riding mode, non choked is down. You should only need the choke briefly when cold. These guys here know these bikes so you came to the right place. Never heard of Jibtopia?

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Saw that one on CL.  Bruce typically works on the shocks removed from the bike. Usually the shift issue is between 1st and second. If your climbing a hill and downshift it goes to neutral rather than 1st. Easy, cheap fix. But between 2nd and 3rd.... not sure about that. Agree the Honda better than the TTR. As far as the front end, Higher front makes it stable,  steer harder. Lower makes it steer quicker but twitchy. But you have some good travel with that set up. Is the stock shock OEM? I'll bet it is upgraded as well. Which may have all the adjustments. Yes the idle screw/ knob is on the choke side. The choke butterfly is spring activated to close, under tension at all times. The lever pushed up for choke basically allows the spring to let it close under it's own spring tension. The blk choke lever having very small plastic detents that have three recess. It should not be a problem moving freely. Especially since riding mode, non choked is down. You should only need the choke briefly when cold. These guys here know these bikes so you came to the right place. Never heard of Jibtopia? 

Edit , I see where Jibtopia is . Way north. If your serious about the suspension and need help, FTI racing, on 85 in Thomasville, or is it Talyorsville, just south of Greensboro, can do anything. Specializes in suspension but also motor work. I met Cal this week. He has two bikes of ours revalving the suspension

Edited by 1gr8bldr

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14 hours ago, MetricMuscle said:

I have a set of '06 250R forks I plan to install on my 230F but I'd like to make sure the valving is going to be good for trail riding.  Seems like correcting some of the harshness a modern twin chamber fork is known for is a difficult endeavor.  Lots of discussion about it but not sure I've seen where anybody has actually had success.

Came across this recently. Guy put 2.5 weight in his Sachs CC and they are now "plush-o-rama." May be relevant or not.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17WxYZYcOg-ciOMezK4fVRx34II-JXZknhyTsCvXH8eI/pub#h.c80aobqodjcg

BTW, I like that Mini Trail. I believe that was my first ride on a motorcycle, on the back, circa 1972.

Edited by RedMesa
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FYI, while talking to Bruce when he worked on my 230's forks, I asked about lowering and revalving a set of crf250r forks I have and he said he only wants to work on vintage type suspension. Phillip Graham in Chattanooga (SOPRO suspension), lowered and resprung my 08 crf250x and I could not be happier. He's an enthusiastic math and numbers guy :)  He knows suspension and answers any questions you have. 

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On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 0:54 PM, mayorblurps said:

Hey folks. I just came home yesterday with what I think is the best bike I've ever ridden (not saying much though between a CRF150F, DRZ400s, and KLX140L). I had the KLX and enjoyed it but quickly outgrew it, literally. I couldn't work on standing up while riding because I'm about 5'9" in boots and my weight, well I was too heavy for that bike's suspension and too tall for the bike's size.  

Lo and behold, I waited and watched CL like a hawk. Within days I noticed a 2006 CRF230F with 08 250R front end, BBR spring with the 150f linkage to raise the rear, Renthal bars and grips, airbox mod, rejetted, ASV clutch perch and brake lever , upgraded chain and sprockets, mechanically sound, recent carb cleaning, etc. Turns out the owner has a dirt bike school near me and uses all the Honda F models from 50 to 230 to teach anyone how to ride whether it's motocross or offroad. This was his personal bike customized for offroad. Although he's sponsored by Honda and other moto companies (I think) and only uses Hondas, he agreed to take my trade plus some cash and will probably sell the KLX140L to a student. He also threw in a brand new Dunlop MX51 tire and is mailing me service manual. I also get a free riding class or day riding on his tracks. 

I know there are many who argue conventional forks properly set up are absolutely fine. I had never ridden anything with USD forks or properly tuned conventional forks. When I kicked my leg over this 230 (it sits about 1.5 inches higher than stock, maybe more- I'm almost on tip toes) and took it for a ride I was amazed at the things I didn't feel because of the front forks! I need to adjust them for a little more plush ride. I was also amazed at how much more comfortable and confident I felt on a bike that is the proper size, even if the seat height is considerably higher. The ground clearance alone was such a welcome addition for me. 

Probably the best CL transaction I've ever had. When I got home and rode the bike again I noticed that it wants to idle/rev high when warm so I spent some time trying to adjust that. Contacted the seller and he gave me some tips to try. The choke lever is also a little finicky in that it freely moves with no resistance up or down--not sure if this is normal. I worked with the choke knob(?) to see if I can get idle right. If I'm riding at a moderate pace and slow to a stop and pull the clutch in, it wants to rev high sometimes as if the choke is on but it isn't. 

After I parked it I noticed after an hr or so there was a small oil leak which concerned me a little. So I contacted the owner and he said if any repairs are needed he will pay for them- ie if the cases are leaking. I was quite surprised by this! But I also understand that he does own a moto school and it was HIS personal bike so he is customer service oriented. For a novice/intermediate rider, to have the seller know so much about these bikes and be able to contact him with questions or anything I might find that's not normal is a godsend. 

 I'm still learning my way around the bike. Glad that the carb is so easy to access as I'd like to rejet and put a new header pipe on it. And time to get some better boots as my leg is a lot closer to the pipe than on any other bike. It could also use some new pegs and new shifter. Also trying to find out how it's geared even though for my uses I think the sprockets are fine. Sometimes shifting from 2nd to 3rd is a little difficult but if it needs new clutch plates I can deal with that. 

a great bike (dare I say better, roomier than the 140L). I think this 230 will be a keeper for a long time. 

Your new ride is definitely a great place to start building an awesome 230F from.  However you have a few issues to remedy and luckily you found us. :)  It would be great if you could get together with a member close by who has some experience with the greatest trail bike ever made.  High idle and a small oil leak is not common on a 230F but should be easy to remedy.

One of the many advantages of this bike is it's more compact size.  I'm 5'9" and have a 30" inseam so riding a full sized MX bike on slower more technical terrain would be lots more work.  I think you would like a shorter seat height as well.  Looks like the guy you got it from raised the rear to compensate for installing longer forks which had not been shortened or lowered.  The design of those Showa TC forks make it easy to shorten properly without changing or cutting the spring, you simply change where the spring perch is internally and use a spacer under the top out spring to maintain proper preload.

The OE rear shock on a 230F is miserable and adding a BBR spring ain't gonna make it better.

On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 8:40 PM, mayorblurps said:

Hey there. So mostly I've been doing simple trails around and near my house. Soon I hope to have a new vehicle that I can add a hitch mount to so i can take advantage of all the amazing power line trails that criss cross my county. I'm still getting used to the bigger bike (seems a lot bigger than stock but worth it) and working on slow speed skills. For the most part it will be woods riding. The true tracks close to me are geared for motocross with the exception of Jibtopia(cable wakeboard park with easy atv and moto trails around the property). 

On a side note-- would either of you guys know why it would be difficult to shift from 2nd to 3rd? A few times I've been up shifting and ended up in neutral which is strange since neutral is between 1 and 2.

And the choke knob, right by the lever- is that the idle screw? Still trying to get that dialed in right. Odd that the choke lever moves freely and easily. 

Sometimes shifting issues are due to technique.  Try riding the bike wearing shoes instead of boots and make sure when you shift, the lever returns back to the middle position, where it stays when not being pushed up or down by your foot.  If you shift and don't let the lever come all the way back to "home" so to speak, shifting can be weird.  Thicker toed boots can cause this but adjusting the shift lever can correct the issue easily and compensate for bulkier footwear.

On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 8:51 PM, mayorblurps said:

Also-- the front forks may indeed feel harsh to others who know more and have ridden longer. But coming from 2 poorly suspended bikes, they feel like clouds to me. Going to mess with the clickers and see what happens. Hit a quite a large hole in a field and tensed up waiting for the jarring effect but the forks just absorbed it and thats when I knew what good suspension is and can be. On the KLX it likely would have caused me to lose control or go over the bars

I do wish I could adjust the rear suspension somehow - the KLX 140 believe it or not had pretty nice suspension settings in the rear. 

Before I agreed to go see the bike I asked the owner about the rear setup since I was worried about the geometry being messed up by taller and longer forks. He didn't list that the rear had been set up properly to account for the front end height w 150f linkage and BBR spring 

Only other bike I saw on CL close to this was a TTR230 w upgraded suspension and it sold very quickly before I had a chance to make an offer. I still think the Honda version is better overall so my wait was worth it, especially being able to contact the seller/school owner about any questions. 

 

A few folks here have used the 150F linkage to raise the rear but I wouldn't say the end result was "proper", just taller.  Swingarm angle is greater which can be a bad thing on street bikes but not sure of the side effects on a dirt bike.

19 hours ago, jms130 said:

FYI, while talking to Bruce when he worked on my 230's forks, I asked about lowering and revalving a set of crf250r forks I have and he said he only wants to work on vintage type suspension. Phillip Graham in Chattanooga (SOPRO suspension), lowered and resprung my 08 crf250x and I could not be happier. He's an enthusiastic math and numbers guy :)  He knows suspension and answers any questions you have. 

Sounds like a great resource!  Lowering TC forks is not difficult but finding a suspension tuner who "likes" the idea and wants to make the mod work isn't often easy.  Finding one who has already done some successfully is fantastic.

On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 9:36 AM, RedMesa said:

Came across this recently. Guy put 2.5 weight in his Sachs CC and they are now "plush-o-rama." May be relevant or not.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17WxYZYcOg-ciOMezK4fVRx34II-JXZknhyTsCvXH8eI/pub#h.c80aobqodjcg

BTW, I like that Mini Trail. I believe that was my first ride on a motorcycle, on the back, circa 1972.

This makes lots of sense.  Damping firmness changes due to speed, valving and oil viscosity.  Sounds so simple I'd think others would have tried it in their quest for plushness.  I was starting to worry that the cartridges were intentionally designed for MX needs and lacked the adjustability past the point needed for woods plushness.

What weight oil is typically used in Sachs CC?

Might you know what is typically used in Showa TC?

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Did we scare you off?

Have you found the source of the oil leak?  Don't be lettin' no Harley riders see a Honda leaking oil, it will throw off the time space continuum.

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Hey guys!  Not scared off at all!  I can't figure out why i'm not getting notifications to my threads/replies!  I took the bike for a ride today and noticed a few more things. The oil leak seems to be coming from the crankcase. I stopped for a minute as the bike was running really hot (just while i was pooting around the neighborhood fields) and I noticed I smelled oil. Took a closer look and it seems the oil is being pushed out of the top crankcase seam?  It was enough to bubble out while enging running and smelled of burnt oil. The motor itself got awfully hot too for such a slow easy ride-- i know it's air cooled but I wasn't expecting that much heat?  Still learning about this bike.

I read it could be just a gasket needs replacing but that kind of gasket replacement would be beyond my comfort zone!  Then there's the shifting issue from 2nd to 3rd...goes into neutral unless I seriously strongly upshift (which isn't required w the other gears?!).  Not sure if its needing clutch plates or what. I've emailed the PO to see if he has any insight, since this was his personal bike set up the way he wanted. Front brake is disappointing. The hose is cracked but brake works, it just requires a strong pull to stop and doesn't seem *quite* right. I'm assuming the whole front end minus the top clamps is from a 250r so it's also a 250r cylinder/caliper. Prob needs brake bled and fresh fluid put in. Sigh, I think I really just need to take it to a Honda dealer for an inspection and fixes but that'll be hundreds of dollars in labor. I'm sure there are bearings that need replacing. 

Question-- I know the shift lever seal needs replacing, which I can do. But damn if I can find the correct part and I've looked at all the OEM diagrams trying to figure it out! Apparently it seats over the shifter spline? Seems that spot could be leaking/damaged and could use a replacement. 

Anyway, here's some pics of the oil leaks from today. Also noticed a random non OEM screw (doesn't even seat in the threads) on the clutch holder. So i ordered the correct bolt to fix. Starting to feel like I got the shitty end of the deal :( The 230s are so easy to maintain and so bulletproof...I really didn't expect these issues and couldn't have seen/noticed when I bought it (esp the shifting and oil coming outside the crankcase covers- can see a small pool below header)

 

 

IMG_20170401_155925.jpg

IMG_20170401_164114.jpg

IMG_20170401_164120.jpg

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On 3/29/2017 at 9:17 AM, MetricMuscle said:

Did we scare you off?

Have you found the source of the oil leak?  Don't be lettin' no Harley riders see a Honda leaking oil, it will throw off the time space continuum.

P.S. Thank you ALL for the wonderful replies and suggestions.  I wasn't sure how to multi-quote but I am grateful for some insight.  Maybe some of these things are normal for the old 230!  It runs and rides fine, all things considered- except the free play of the choke and the jetting seems off even though he did air box mod (about to find out exactly what) and rejetted it for stock pipe. Just sucks about the shifting from 2nd to 3rd. Have a brand new rear tire to put on - have no clue how to, ha!

Will probably try to learn the carb and remove it to see what jet#s are used, and replace with the widely established working jet#s I found here for best results. Wouldn't mind putting a less restrictive muffler on. Q4 maybe

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On 3/25/2017 at 9:21 PM, ramz said:

Here's a picture of the stock carb.  Check out the choke lever on your bike to see if there's anything missing.  Such as the metal tab and screw at the top end.  These hold the choke in position.  There's also a small black arm that sticks backwards and operates the actual choke plate shaft.  Look inside the carb to see if the choke plate is attached to the shaft and if it rotates as you operate the choke lever.

 

More info and pics here:

http://rickramsey.net/CRF230Fcarb.htm#carbinfo

:ride:

CarbInfo1.jpg

Thank you Mr Rick Ramsey-- have spent a good deal of time on your site and was trying to figure out how to find your email address - says it's on your main page but I couldn't find.  

About to check out the choke lever to see if that screw/holder is there. As for the carb-- will start that process (huge learning curve for me with carburetors!) soon. Luckily with choke all the way up, it works as it should. Problem is when I want to use half choke, if ever, engine vibrations/free play just send it on up into full on position

Previous owner had agree to pay for any major repairs needed. Still waiting to here back RE: the issues I found today and just posted here. Hoping the 2nd to 3rd shifting into neutral could just be needing new clutch plates or something

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On 3/25/2017 at 9:21 PM, ramz said:

Here's a picture of the stock carb.  Check out the choke lever on your bike to see if there's anything missing.  Such as the metal tab and screw at the top end.  These hold the choke in position.  There's also a small black arm that sticks backwards and operates the actual choke plate shaft.  Look inside the carb to see if the choke plate is attached to the shaft and if it rotates as you operate the choke lever.

So I did a quick look on choke lever. I'm thinking that the plate is missing since it moves freely and side to side but the screw must be in place since the choke does work properly. No detent though for each position as the owner manual says. 

Edited by mayorblurps

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The only issue you have that is not easily correctable is the shifting problem.  If you have bent shift forks then I think you should consider asking the seller for a refund or have him pay a reputable mechanic to fix it and check the rest of the bottom end and trans for other issues. 

I think most Honda dealership shops would freak-da-fug-out seeing those forks on the bike and not want to work on it not to mention the cost would be as high as you would pay anywhere.  Surely you/we can find a great small shop near you to do the work.  Where are you in North Carolina?

The rest of the issues sound to be minor but I think you should take more pics, like of the carburetor, just to make sure it is in fact the OE carb.  Also the handlebars and the controls.  Where is the key switch now?

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